Sven ‘t Jolle
Clash of Generations
Digital print on textile paper
141 × 100 cm
Edition of 5 copies, signed and numbered by the artist
about this work
This edition is based on a series of drawings called Great Regression Epic (2010-2013) that Sven ‘t Jolle made with his son Sen between 2010 (when Sen was four years old) and 2013 (when he was eight years old). The drawings, which emanate naive innocence and recognizable spontaneity, are the result of the interplay between father and son, and as such represent the presumed generation conflict, an important theme in the artist’s practice.
The series depicts battles fought by a little eclectic army of warriors from all corners of the globe. That way by drawing, the artist also relived a period from his childhood. Regression signifies relapse not only in psychology, but also in economics. After ‘Great Depression’, the term ‘Great Regression’ is recently being used as well to describe the deteriorating economic situation and the loss of social achievements most of the working population in the Western world also has been dealing with since the eighties.
about Sven ‘t Jolle
Sven ’t Jolle’s work can be read as an impassioned critique of capitalism, mixing poetry and humour with social engagement. His installations, sculptures and works on paper reveal how he fuses together historical references and citations from everyday life to create new and eloquent constellations of images, forms and ideas. His visual idiom is informed by both art history and popular culture, for example by the Belgian cartoons of his youth, masterpieces of twentieth-century painting or archaeological artefacts. He also plays with language, mixing catchphrases and proverbs as he moves between different languages and registers. Sven ‘t Jolle’s work explores the values of contemporary society, addressing with understated humour its inequalities.
A recurrent technique in ’t Jolle’s work is the practice of détournement. Associated with the Situationists, it translates as “rerouting” or “hijacking” and is often employed to turn mass-media signs or symbols against their original meaning. Playing with an existing sign (or artwork), ’t Jolle adapts it to offer an alternative reading. By working within this tradition of détournement – also employed by punk in the 70s or the culture jamming movement of the 80s – he locates his practice within a history of political engagement, while his references root him firmly within the realm of art.